Summer vacation is
always a time of great growth and change. Perhaps this is most true
for Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, the writers and directors of the
surprisingly funny and soulful new ensemble coming-of-age piece
The Way Way Back. Rash and Faxon are probably best known as
comic TV actors: Rash plays the crazy dean on the NBC series
Community and Faxon starred in last year's short-lived FOX
series Ben & Kate.
However the two
have long comic backgrounds and have also been writing together for
ten years, even picking up a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2011
for co-writing The Descendents with Alexander Payne. They
actually originally wrote The Way Way Back ten years ago. The
script quickly became a hot Hollywood property and was quickly
placed in production. But then, as so often happens in Hollywood,
the business intruded, things changed and the script was placed in
turnaround. However, it was respected and soon joined the infamous
Hollywood "Black List": a grouping of the ten best screenplays which
were not being made. In a nice piece of symmetry, the script's
inclusion on the Black List opened up the opportunity for Rash and
Faxon to work with Payne and George Clooney on The Defendants
and that film's success (and their Oscar co-win) gave Rash and Faxon
the Hollywood pull to not only get their script back into
production, but also to get the opportunity to direct the film
They quickly signed
up a grouping of friends and actors they respected to tell their
story of a young boy spending the summer in a Massachusetts beach
town with his mother and her jerky new boyfriend, but who discovers
himself when he gets a summer job at a nearby water park. Steve
Carell played against type as the boyfriend (the film was also shot
in the area of Massachusetts that Carell summers with his family),
as does Sam Rockwell, who plays the motor-mouthed nice guy who runs
the park. Toni Collette (The United States of Tara) plays his
mother and Allison Janney, Amanda Peet and Rob Corddry are the
vacation neighbors, while the water park is populated by lovable
misfits played by the likes of Maya Rudolph, Rash and Faxon. The kid
is played by the relatively unknown Liam James of The Killing
and the cute girl next door is AnnaSophia Robb of The Carrie
A week before the
movie's debut, film stars Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, AnnaSophia
Robb, Allison Janney, Liam James and writers/directors Jim Rash
and Nat Faxon had a press conference at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. We were there in the front row
to ask some questions and get you all the answers.
Jim and Nat,
can you talk about the cast? Did you have any of these people in
mind? Was there an auditioning process?
Yeah. A lot of these were our third or fourth choices. (Everyone
Some up here were forced on us...
Because of the studio we're working for. No.
Yeah, it was a dream cast, certainly. I think Allison, [The
character of Betty] we wrote with her in mind. (Allison laughs.)
Not her as a person, but just something that we knew that she could
just [pull off].
Sort of a drunken kind of friend of ours...
Yeah, yeah. Like a tornado of too much.
... that really could embody no filter.
But, honestly, we did. Just thinking about these people. We were
just looking for actors that we admired both as wonderful talent and
also good people. With Trent, we wanted to go against type. Steve
came to mind because of this innate ability he has that elevated
Trent. Past just being something where you're demonizing him, rather
making him this true, real human, tragic male character. Steve
jumped into that. Against type was certainly paramount. We think in
our heads, Sam came to mind. We were like, who just understands what
Bill Murray was to us in Meatballs? Sam said it on phone the
before we had said anything. So we knew right away that we were all
on the same page.
think all of these incredible people who surrounded us understand
and appreciate ensemble-type films. Jim and I come from The
Groundlings and a lot of the stuff we do are performing with other
people. Writing shows with other people. In that collaborative
spirit. I think this movie is the sum of its parts. It takes a
certain type of person to understand that and jump in. Weíre so
incredibly fortunate that all of these people came on this ride with
What do you
think about the archetype of playtime as the redemptive factor in
Duncanís coming of age? He actually breaks away from miserable home
life through play, the carnivalÖ
There are a couple of things that go into this. For me, in the
design of what Liamís character is going through, you have two male
roles in his life; you have Trent, who... his idea is to cast him
out. In other words, to fend for yourself and go forth and make
something of yourself. Get out. Don't be a three. Then you have
Samís character, Owen, saying the same message but in a much more
nurturing way. Come into the fold, put on the shirt, youíre
official. In other words, join this playground, which is pretty much
how Owen operates in his mind. He is at his best for three months
out of the year, in the sense that heís King while this park is
open. Itís an at-play opportunity, in the sense that it becomes
Duncanís Oz. So because of this place that nurtures all types of
people, in order for them to celebrate who they are, which I guess
is playful and fun, it is about pushing him to go dance and control
this thing. But he is saying it in such a way that heís officially
nurturing that. Making him part of the wonderful experience of these
people who just come to this place when the beach is over here. This
is very unique, so I guess in that way Owen is offering something
completely different, in the way of a celebration.
think we were also trying to achieve it in a cinematic way. We had
long conversations with our DP, John Bailey, about how we could make
the house feel suffocating and isolating and closed-in, whether that
be shooting from a lower angle so you could see the ceiling and feel
that claustrophobia that Duncan is feeling at the time. Contrast
that visually with what we wanted for the water park: as Jim said,
to feel like Oz, that openness. Shooting it with a Steadicam to
create movement and excitement. Doing a ton of walk-and-talk moments
with Sam. All were part of trying to make it feel colorful and
bright and open and fun and playful.
I wanted to
ask Liam and Sam [about] the relationship at the heart of the movie
Ė how you guys worked together and if you were pulling pranks on
each other the way Duncan was pranked-upon in the movie?
We had a lot of fun together. As soon as I arrived at where we were
going to be shooting, a couple of days before we started, Sam and
Nat and Jim we all sat down together. I was doing this new thing,
something Iíd never done before, this huge part. They really made me
feel comfortable that I could do anything I needed to do for the
movie. They just sat me down. The thing that made me the most
comfortable was how funny they were, all the jokes they were
telling. Wherever I was around them between scenes, I would go to
them and just listen and laugh and have a great time. Personally,
between me and Sam, one thing that he showed me was, heís really
into boxing and he was showing me some moves. (chuckles)
Thatís one way we kept loose in between scenes.
We made them fight. That's how we got them.
cage-fighting between them. He survived.
Kidís gotta learn. Gotta learn.
think it was pretty immediate chemistry with me and Liam. We had an
immediate understanding of the relationship. It was just so easy, we
were just sort of on the same page, all of us. It wasnít a lot of
dialogue. We read it a couple of times. We all knew what it needed
to be. It was instinctive, I felt. These guys would guide me, but it
was very free-feeling on this movie.
actresses, I wanted to know how you got into the head and the heart
of the character, and whether there was anything in your personal
lives or youths that you drew on for these particular womenÖ?
me, I start with this wonderful material. Itís always in the script.
When itís so clear and so rich and so complex and enjoyable, Iím not
one of those people who draws on previous experiences or anything
that blatant. Everyone was so receptive to the material, so open,
and it was such a wonderful atmosphere to work within. That did
create a really open kind of vibe. It allowed something really
relaxed and natural and special to evolve.
Parties. I can relate to Bettyís fun side because. These gentlemen
have seen how I throw down at a party. (Jim and Nat laugh.) I
like to dance. I like to have a great time. So that part I was
excited about, when I first read Betty. But I was also very hooked
by the fact that sheís in a lot of pain, self-medicating with
alcohol and chatter to cover up whatís underneath. Thatís what
fascinated me about her. She wasnít just a one-dimensional, silly
character. Sheís actually very complicated. It was very exhausting
to play her and yet incredibly rewarding. I responded to their
writing. Itís brilliant, sheís a brilliant character. But a little
Betty goes a long way.
I definitely agree with Toni, it was all sort of the page. I
remember my first meeting with Matt and Jim, how we clicked. The
chemistry felt so natural and comfortable. Being on set and being in
that environment that the characters are in just really got me into
the headspace. Being able to spend time with Liam and getting to
know each other for the first time. I felt sort of adopted by
Allison in a way. Being able to hang out on set was a real privilege
for me. I drew everything from the script. Itís nice to see your
girl-next-door character be multi-faceted and not just
one-dimensional. Sheís going through hard things herself.
often a time of transition, change. Can you guys talk about your
most pathetic and maybe your most turbulent summer of change?
summers with adults, because I was in the theater as a kid. So I was
around bohemian sort of people who were a little maybe crazy and
stuff. So I had some unconventional summers for sure.
I had an unconventional summer. I started acting when I was 9, and I
think last summer, when we shot this, was probably my most
transitional. I had just graduated high school. I was 18, it was my
first movie, by myself, so to be able to spend time with an amazing
cast and just be with them was so much fun for me. It was kind of
scary and a little bit lonely at times, but Iím so excited to see
the final product. It reminds me of that time.
a lot of work in theater in Ohio. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and
worked with the Kenley Players. I would do backstage crew work, so I
got a big eyeful of some colorful people. The Ames Brothers and
Kitty Carlisle and the Smothers Brothers. I was working backstage. I
guess I must have been 14, 15, 16, somewhere in there. It was an
unbelievable world to open to my eyes, professional theater. A lot
of stories that I couldnít tell you, some very funny ones.
Australia is one big beach, we stick to the perimeter. Itís all very
oceanic and salty, just feelings of freedom. Summer is my favorite,
favorite time of year. I absolutely come to life and love it.
Thereís one holiday that I had, it wasnít planned at all. I had a
fight with my parents on Boxing Day, and they went to visit my
auntie Betty, in the city. I rang a friend because she was going on
a road trip with some girlfriends that sheíd met at university. She
said, "one of them pulled out, thereís a spare seat in the car, Iím
coming to get you." I literally just grabbed a shitload of clothing,
shoved it in a duffle bag, grabbed my guitar, ran out, got in the
car, didnít know where I was going. We just drove up the coast. I
slept on beaches, got kicked off beaches by rangers. Joined drum
circles in Byron Bay, ended up at a folk festival and had the time
of my bloody life.
One of my summers is in there. (chuckles) The very first
scene happened to me on the way to our summer vacation. But thatís
not really a transformative one. (laughs) I had two
particular summers. For some reason, I have these moments in my
life. That was my stepfather at the time. And my dad decided I
needed development as well and so he sent me on Outward Bound for
like three weeks. Itís one of those things where as a teen, at first
youíre like, ugh, this sucks. Then you sort of really embrace it.
Then you come back and youíre telling your high school friends, "You
donít get it. Iíve changed! You donít understand what happened,
guys. I was in the woods and things happened."
you do the ropes course? That shit is scary.
Yeah, we would do backpacking and rock climbing and weíd do a
three-day solo [trip]. You have an orange and a bagel and thatís it,
and a tarp and four pieces of string. Thatís it. And there was a
huge thunderstorm. Three days by yourself, you realize, is a lot of
time by yourself.
Especially for someone like you, Jim, who lives inside your head.
I was not very entertaining. I remember I tried to write a really
short story there. I think I still have it. It was so terrible, you
know. That was a summer I remember.
spent my summers on Nantucket Island. I have so many fond memories
of it really. It was a lot of horrible summer jobs there. Thereís
something very special that weíre certainly inspired by with this
movie we tried to instill, in the sense of going to a certain place
year after year. So much happens in the time that youíre not there.
Youíre gone nine months or ten months, at school or jobs or whatever
it may be. Then you come back to this place, and you literally open
your summer house Ė people open their summer houses Ė and nothing
has changed. Itís all very much the same. Thereís something very
comforting and familiar about that. I have a lot of fond memories of
growing up like that.
Jim made a
before. When you and Nat got together, did you think, letís make a
movie kind of like Meatballs meets Adventureland? Sam,
I was wondering if you thought of Bill Murray when thinking of how
to play your part.
Murray Ė itís pretty evident, I think, in the script Ė I think itís
kind of an homage, a little bit. But there are a lot of prototypes
for Owen. Walter Matthau, a little Richard Pryor. There are a bunch
of good prototypes for that. The adult who talks to kids as if
theyíre adults, which is always fun.
The inspiration is Ė I donít know if we sat down and set up
Meatballs and that kind of thing, but we started with a love for
water parks and our training from the Groundlings, which is so
character-based. The water parks seemed to offer [a place] where an
eclectic group of people might be. Then the first scene of the
movie, in the car, the "one-to-ten" conversation happened to me on
the way to our summer vacation in Michigan. We launched with that
sort of verbatim, almost autobiographical first scene. Launched that
and then we merged those two thoughts in our heads. The water park
became the perfect Oz in this story of this kid.
Do you see
this movie as your revenge?
Itís cathartic, I donít know if itís revenge. Because we
movieís revenge. Take that, momís second husband!
Yeah! In your face! But we elevated the role of Trent to be what we
needed for whatís dramatic about the movie. I would not say that my
stepfather was that same person, because at the same time, I
understand. I didnít then, at 14, I wasnít going to process it this
way, because [then] youíre probably coming from a place of anger and
what the fuck? But the truth is that I understood what his
message was to me. Through [Owen] weirdly, what Duncan does that
summer is what Trent was alluding to. Duncan reluctantly gets on his
bike and leaves the house and stumbles upon this Oz. Trent said,
"Get out, make something." There are so many things at the beach to
take advantage of. Thatís what I was told. We went to Michigan every
year, Lake Charleroi, and he was saying to me, "I noticed that last
year you hung around the lake house. Why don't you get out? There
are so many great people to meet, and explore, and take advantage of
things." So regardless of the tact that wasnít there, itís still
harsh, you realize the powerful connections we have with people in
our lives on a daily basis. They may not be in our lives for very
long Ė maybe for a second, maybe for a summer, maybe for a period
when theyíre married to your mother. But theyíre in your life for a
reason and they gave you something that you might not understand
then but you understand now. So itís really, to me, cathartic, in
the sense that I understand why our paths crossed briefly.
Toni, you play
a passive character, and Liam, you play a shy character. So how do
you play that kind of thing and have a connection with drifting away
Thereís so much going on. You have much more of an explosive
experience, I think, because youíre out there reveling in this new
world. But from my point of view, I thought, the audience is going
to find her so frustrating. She is so passive, so inactive. But then
what I loved about it is thereís so much going on. She knows the
truth. Sheís lying to herself. Sheís trying to provide something for
her son with the wrong person. Thereís a lot of wheels turning
without being so much being expressed, for a very long time. Iíd
like to do a silent movie! I think thereís so much you can express
without words, so I kind of enjoyed that.
For me, one thing I noticed when I saw the film at Sundance, and
again after that, I saw it in my home town of VancouverÖ We shot the
film out of [sequence], sort of. So there was the scene where
everybody was talking this transformation, and I was [just] really
happy to see how it all came together, because Iíd just had to trust
Nat and Jim to say that I was doing it right. People were quite
pleased and I was pleased with what happens with Duncan over the
summer. I didnít feel frustrated with Duncan, but itís almost
painful to watch how awkward he is.
This is a
question for Allison. That first scene of yours basically tells you
everything you need to know about Betty, and Iím wondering Ė was it
a daunting scene for you, or was it fun? How did you approach that?
thrilled when I get to do a scene like that. Itís like being in a
pinball machine, and I get to be in control of it. I love doing that
in my acting. (laughs) Iím not so good at it in real life. I
relish getting to take over a scene like that and be the one
spinning it all over the place. I canít get enough of that; I love
it. I couldn't wait to do it. It was fun when we got to go all the
way through it; then when I had to break it up it became a little
harder to do the coverage on it to keep the same energy. By the end
of the day I was exhausted. I had to get in a hot bath.
was one whole day. The scene was the day. So in a way, the day was
Allison. She was really in control of the pace.
Allison really became the day.
the day really became Allison.
really rather exciting.
it's like a short story.
Jim and Nat,
this is your first opportunity to direct a film. What was that
experience like? And for the actors, what were they like as
Be careful. Be very careful.
we are up here on the stage, and we can hear you.
It was stressful for sure, but a wonderful sort of stress. This
whole new chapter for us. Weíve been writing parts for a long time.
So we just tried to approach it from a similar place as far as our
work relationship and how we would direct together. We knew that we
knew this story very well. Weíd lived with it for eight years. We
just had to trust that to our new foray as directors. Then pull from
anything, as actors, that weíd appreciated for directors we had
worked with. That was the artillery weíd go in with and feel
confident about. All we knew is that things are going to happen. It
was going to be learn by doing. Every director that we spoke with
and sat down with, either their first or second or third time, was,
no matter advice they can give you, itís all going to be a whole new
game when we get out there. But it was a wonderfully complicated,
stressful, awesome experience.
would echo those sentiments. You always dream of pursuing something
that you love doing. To be able to do this and to work with this
caliber of talent, it really was a dream come true. Oftentimes on
the set youíre stressed out because youíre asked so many questions
and you have so many decisions to make. Yet youíre trying to remind
yourself, Iím so lucky to be doing this. To be working with these
people. To be surrounded by these actors and this incredible crew
all working together to create something. To really fulfill a dream
of ours. Thereís something really special about that. I think weíre
so lucky to be doing what we love to do. We just tried to create a
set that was loose and fun and enjoyable, and really reflected that.
Whether we accomplished that, weíll see. I donít know. What do you
guys think? (laughs)
working with actor-directors, and these guys are no exception. Itís
just a great, loose set. They wrote such a great script, it was kind
of a no-brainer. It was just so easy. Also Maya Rudolph would come
in, and they knew her. I felt like she was almost like therapy for
you guys, stress relief, right? You guys could do bits. It felt like
it would relieve your stress a little in addition to being amazing
in the film. They knew each other from the Groundlings. These guys
were so great. Because theyíre so funny, they would throw me adlibs,
and I tried to assimilate them. The "princess collection" thing I
think Jim threw me at the last minute. I just started laughing
before I said it. Theyíd throw you zingers and youíd throw them in.
By the end of
the first act, I was dying, waiting for a Rockwell vs. Carell
backyard barbeque confrontation. I wanted something, I could taste
it. It was going to be McMurphy vs. Nurse Ratched. I really donít
understand why you didnít do that!
do that. We did. I confront him at the water park. But itís probably
good youíre left wanting more. I think we just get a taste of that
and thatís all you need, that little moment there. I think thatís
good you want more of that, you know what I mean?
think weíre always trying to use restraint in what we do, both in
our writing and our directing. Certainly working with Alexander
[Payne] on The Descendents, that was something we admired
about his work. Being able to say more, or show more... or say less.
Show more by... Oh, God, I fell apart. What is it? Doing more by
showing less? I don't know. You know the expression. Less is more.
God, that was so easy and yet so hard for me. Maybe it was the shot
of tequila that my producer bought me late last night.
think thereís something so subtle in Samís action there in terms of
just stepping in front of Steve. YesÖ I think itís almost expected
that they would have a big blow-up and a throw-down, and I think we
were searching for Ė how could we do that in a way that was almost
showed more. I think by doing something as small as a simple
physical move, we were achieving the same thing.
going to muddy that with an adlib, and they pulled me back, thank
God. I think it would have diluted the moment.
also, youíre wanting that because you care about Duncan, and I think
Owen does it in a gentlemanly, minimalist fashion. Duncanís the one
who gets to push him and actually show his anger. Thatís who you
want it to come from.
I think it feels real, also.
true, thatís the real catharsis.
sort of screenwriting in a way, because youíre making alternations
to the script. Did anything in this movie spark your interest in
screenwriting in the future? If so, whatís the most important thing
you learned? And also, to Nat and Jim, if you could briefly talk
about the movie youíre working on with Kristen Wiig.
couldnít write a screenplay. This script was so good. I think really
good adlibbing is more like garnish on a good meal. I think itís
like before and after the take, quite often, if you have a good
scriptÖ I wouldnít think of this as an adlib movie at all, even
though there were some funny adlibs. But usually from these guys, it
is more writing, you know.
actors know how to improvise from a place of character and story,
bringing their own personality into what they are doing. I think
thereís a distinction between that and improvising in a tangential
way that deviates so much from whatís actually happening in the
scene that it makes it more obvious, in a way. When youíre working
with these incredible people, they know how to do it and bring it to
life in a very natural and organic way. It doesnít feel completely
disconnected from whatís happening in the scene.
Weíre working on an action comedy for Kristen Wiig, who we came
through the Groundlings program with, and were subsequently
Groundlings together. Again, we love working with friends, obviously
sheís talented. We love to surround ourselves with that as we go
forward. Itís an action comedy. Itís staying true to our love of
ensembles, but itíll probably be a little grittier and darker in
tone. Weíre just in the writing phase of it, at this point.
character, dancing with Duncan is how he came alive. How much of the
dancing was you?
a stunt double.
Yeah. That wasnít me.
No, it was. He was probably terrified when we said, "now you need to
I was so terrified. I got there that morning and read what we were
going to be doing that day, and was like... okay, here we go.
They were like, "You need a choreographer?" We were like, no. Let's
I was like: Whereís the choreographer, guys? And they were like,
"get up there. Show us your stuff."
It was just better and more real that he was tossed into it. Why
would we prepare for this thing?
One of the moves I did was the Leaf Blower, where you go like this.
(He laughs hard and mimes an awkward dance move.) I think
that says a little about how much they show you.
I love that youíre actually attributing a style to what you were
Itís just a move I learned when I was twelve years old, someone
showed it to me one time so I thought Iíd try it.
To me it was more like a zombie thing you were doing. (He mimes a
zombie dance move.)
No, youíre welcome. It was a compliment! No, he was fantastic.
The dancers were so amazing who were there. I was really intrigued
to talk to them and get to know them. I even asked a couple things,
when I was nervous. Thatís kind of how it worked.
Sam, I was
wondering whether it was adlibbed when your character talked about
the young kidís eyes?
that was in the script.
The balance of
comedy and drama was executed really well in this movie, so I was
wondering how you went about that. And for the actors specifically,
how did you go about playing the humor of everyday struggles?
The balance, Iíll start with that, from the writing side of it. Nat
and I have always been drawn to the balance between comedy and
drama. Finding the comedy in very dramatic-seeming moments.
Obviously it was that way in The Descendants, and with this,
certainly. To us, itís just about being honest and finding the
comedy in true life moments. Really thinking about our day-to-day
lives. We can go interwoven from something thatís so fun to
something that can become tragic and then finding the humor in that,
from a day-to-day reality. Itís just being honest.
and Jim, when they were directing me with River Alexander, the kid
who plays my son, they said Ė it was just such a great piece of
direction - they said to act as if we were an old married couple. It
was really fun to play with him. Some of the things that Betty says
to her son, on the page seem pretty harsh and I wanted to make sure
that was balanced with the enormous amount of love that I had for
him. I wanted that to be there so that my telling him things or
saying mean things came from a place of love. Then it comes out
wrong and funny in an awful sort of way. That was my challenge and
they were wonderfully directing me to do that. Their relationship
was so much fun.
finale of the break-through, coming down the water tunnel. Could you
put into words what that meant, in terms of a rite of passage?
Symbolically, youíre saying? I think the physical act of this
movement is a birth of this new chapter for Duncan. The strength is
what helps to give Pam the last piece that she needs, which starts
when she sees that picture of him as employee of the month. She had
just been speaking to the idea of sometimes we do things because
weíre scared. Here was a kid who showed no fear in going down this
tube and moving into what will be the next phase for him, after
finding out that his dad is seemingly going to be disconnected from
him. I think itís an image of birth, if you want.
living with the story for eight years. Did you keep revisiting the
script during that time? Howíd you know when the writing process as
knew that it was done when I had to put a stop to it, because Jimís
character Lewis just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. It
was sort of like, weíre doing revising now, Jim. We donít need any
more of Lewis.
Itís like a great puzzle. As soon as the last five pieces Ė which
were all the puzzle pieces that said Lewis on the back Ė as soon as
you put those five pieces in, youíre like: Oh, now I see the puzzle.
The five best pieces were Lewis! Are you understanding what Iím
saying when Iím saying that Lewis (everyone laughs) was the
reason we understood what the puzzle looked like. Lewis was the
reason that the puzzle was what we wanted. (more laughter).
(To Nat) Answer the question for real...
script did continue to evolve certainly over the eight years, many
things changed. The core of the script stayed true to what it was in
the beginning. We probably pulled back on some of the broader
moments that weíd originally thought of in the water park, as the
family stuff took more prominence in the script. Just trying to
make sure that those two worlds belonged in the same movie, in tone.
Again, playing with restraints. Youíre always trying to pull back as
much as you can Ė less is more. Now I can say it. Even more, on set,
writing and these guys coming up with really funny additions,
brainstorming and adding to those. Itís always an evolution. Really,
youíre always constantly tweaking until youíre shooting.
could you tell us your favorite amusement park and your favorite
ride and why you like them?
didn't I get any of these questions?
I had never been to a real water park until this film. So of the
water park rides that we shot on, Iíd say the big black slide that
goes shooting down.
Did you do it?
I did. I got a little drop in my stomach. I got a big wedgie also.
That happened. But it was fun.
never heard a manís voice go as high as Jimís when we went down that
slide. (fakes a scream)
That seems pretty low to me. I was terrified of that. We went down
it. There was one night when weíd pretty much wrapped and they
opened up the park at night for us, to have some night-sliding. Itís
terrifying in the day, then add the fact that youíre going to go
down this very steep incline at night. Itís pitch-black in there. I
mean pitch-black. I donít even want to talk about the visuals that
went through my head about what could happen. But all of them went
down. I sat at the top for a good amount of time before I would go
down. There was a bar that you can hold on to if you want to. Back
and forth, almost like a slalom, if you want to go faster. Thereís
no reason I want to go faster! I will just let my body naturally
also shares a character trait with his character, Lewis, of being a
germaphobe. So those things always played into Jimís wanting to go
on the slides.
I had a really hard time in a lot of the water park!
Me, I liked a lot of them. I loved Devilís Peak, I remember. The
best part of it was Iíve been to water parks before once or twice in
my home town. But when we got to WaterWizz, the water park managers
were quite insistent on being there. I had such a great time with
the actual guys there. They were taking us on the special benefits
rides. Having no lines, and we could just all go down. The whole
water park for me was such a great experience. I think I did it the
most out of everybody. Sometimes after work I would go throw my
bathing suit on and Iíd be down all the slides.
Why werenít you working on the next dayís work? This is the first
time Iím hearing about this. What did we tell you at the end of each
day? Go home and dance. Work on your dancing!
And my singing.
wasnít able to be here, but can you guys talk a little bit about
working with him?
favorite memories of working with Steve: It was my first time
working with him. I adore him. I used to love to watch him laugh
when they called Cut on a Betty scene. I would literally just slump
and fall out of my chair. Iíd just go from Betty to zero. He
couldnít wait, that was his favorite part of my performance, so he
would make me laugh. And there was one night when we were preparing
for a scene that was... Should I tell this story? I donít know.
Oh, yes. You can tell it.
Tell the story.
a late-night shoot, and the last scene of the night, the title of
the scene was "The Adults Stumble into the Dunes." So, being a
method actress... Steve and Toni and I sat up in one the houses, the
actorsí holding room, and we had some champagne, some beach punch.
I don't know what it was.
punch! We sat around and told stories and laughed with each other.
We had the best night. And then we had to go, they called us to the
set. We literally ran and stumbled into the dunes. It was really
And they nailed it.
nailed that scene!
heís just such a pleasure in every way. Heís so open and lovely to
work with. Such a brilliant actor. Such a gentleman, a truly nice
person. It was wonderful to get to work with him again.
Briefly, I think for Nat and I, I think we really appreciated
Steveís desire to really talk about Trent with us. We would spend a
couple of times going through the process of the next scene, and
what his headspace was, because he was playing against type. It just
reaffirmed that it was a great choice to go against type and watch
this guy walk us through his process of wanting to talk out loud
about Trent and his headspace. It was such a wonderful moment to
have with him and see his process. That was an honor.
For me, the scenes I had with Steve, especially the ones where weíre
really butting heads, even the scene where he throws the luggage at
me, he was really throwing the luggage at me! In between scenes it
wasnít like that at all. He wasnít trying to make me feel bad about
myself. (Everyone laughs)
I don't know why he would. I remember one time I had to have this
big smile on my face for one scene. He was off-camera but in the
scene. He did this funny laugh that Steve Carell does. It just
cracked me up. I think it was a genuine smile that I had and I
really thank him for that.
I remember the night that Allison was talking about, because Liam
and I were downstairs, filming our first awkward scene. I remember
in-between scenes I could hear laughter. I ran upstairs, I felt like
I was eight years old. Liam and I would run upstairs and just listen
to all of them tell their stories and laugh. It was a really special
time just to be able to hear all these wonderful people and actors
that I admire so much just bond and share stories.
have beach punch.
Got beach punch.
That is like you, just smooth coating it. Just beach punch.
donít have any great things to say so probably I shouldnít say
anything! I certainly share all the same sentiments that Jim did in
terms of really admiring Steveís approach to the character. Also
just overall the bravery to play a character who really doesn't have
this huge arc in the movie. Heís a tragic male character who doesnít
evolve, start at point A and end at point B, learn his lesson and
now he's a changed man. This is a guy who says he wants things but
his actions donít reflect that. Kudos to him for having the courage
to play a guy like that. You almost sympathize with people like
that. You hope they figure it out but they may never. I just have
such respect for him for jumping into that role.
(Fakes talking into a water bottle rather than a microphone. Bangs it
on the table. Then picks up mike.)
didnít really get a chance to work with Steve and Toni, just that
brief scene. But Iíve been a fan of them for such a long time. I
just think heís so great in the movie. He and I both kind of red
herrings for the movie, because I usually play the creepy guy and he
plays the nice guy, and we switched it. Itís a great red herring,
for the audience, I think. Itís just great to hang out with these
people. Thatís what so great about these press junkets is you get to
see them again and you get to talk to them. I got to have a nice
conversation with Steve last night. Itís fun to meet these people
who you admire.